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Women in Tech: Take Your Career to the Next Level with Practical Advice and Inspiring Stories

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“Jam packed with insights from women in the field,” this is an invaluable career guide for the aspiring or experienced female tech professional ( Forbes )

As the CEO of a startup, Tarah Wheeler is all too familiar with the challenges female tech professionals face on a daily basis. That’s why she’s teamed up with other high-achieving women within the field—from entrepreneurs and analysts to elite hackers and gamers—to provide a roadmap for women looking to jump-start, or further develop, their tech career.

In an effort to dismantle the unconscious social bias against women in the industry, Wheeler interviews professionals like Brianna Wu (founder, Giant Spacekat), Angie Chang (founder, Women 2.0), Keren Elazari (TED speaker and cybersecurity expert), Katie Cunningham (Python educator and developer), and Miah Johnson (senior systems administrator) about the obstacles they have overcome to do what they love. Their inspiring personal stories are interspersed with tech-focused career advice. Readers will

• The secrets of salary negotiation
• The best format for tech resumes
• How to ace a tech interview
• The perks of both contracting (W-9) and salaried full-time work
• The secrets of mentorship
• How to start your own company
• And much more

BONUS Perfect for its audience of hackers and coders, Women in Tech also contains puzzles and codes throughout—created by Mike Selinker (Lone Shark Games), Gabby Weidling (Lone Shark Games), and cryptographer Ryan “LostboY” Clarke—that are love letters to women in the industry. A distinguished anonymous contributor created the Python code for the cover of the book, which references the mother of computer science, Ada Lovelace. Run the code to see what it does!

272 pages, Hardcover

First published March 29, 2016

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 86 reviews
Profile Image for Lauren.
126 reviews6 followers
May 22, 2017
This book helped me stay in the industry when I hit that 10 year drop off point where many women decide they can't fucking take it anymore and leave for an industry less hostile. I could never blame a woman for leaving. My experiences have many times been garbage, and I've done a lot of talking to other women who work in tech and unfortunately, not only is my experience typical, it's shockingly textbook. So much of what I've had happen is better suited to a BuzzFeed 'Top 10 Reasons Suspicions You Have a Vagina are an Employment Liability' than to a personal narrative.

This book is not a feel good read. It does not try to tell you if you work hard and don't complain, you'll be fine: this is not the same unhelpful message I've gotten from so many giving "advice" on how to be a woman in tech.

Instead, I found this book to be much more useful. Full of real life stories and practical advice, this book helped me find coping strategies to keep going, helped me find new resources to support me, caused me to seek out mentoring programs and negotiation training. If you take nothing else from this book, take these two things: 1) become a mentor. Don't believe your own doubts, you definitely know something that's worth teaching and 2) find a negotiation (salary/promotion) seminar and use every tactic they teach. These two things completely changed my career in the best way.

There is only one book with the title "Women In Tech," and it was published in 2016. How was this title not taken? Why is there still so much resistance to honestly discussing the well documented, well researched difficulties women face in this field? Hopefully we are moving in a new direction. Even if it's still something that will take decades to fix, at least the conversation is starting to happen.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Unrein.
4 reviews5 followers
August 30, 2017
As a woman in tech who is still searching for that mythical "place to belong", I really wanted to like this book. But it really didn't tell me anything that I hadn't heard before, and I don't necessarily agree with a lot of Wheeler's advice.

Maybe my expectations were off. I expected, perhaps, a more "down to earth" version of Lean In. What I got was... well, a maybe slightly more down to earth version, but still pretty pie in the sky. Of course the biggest difference between the two in Tarah's background - she had much more humble beginnings than Sandberg and has experience actually working with tech. (This was me, and many others', biggest beef with Lean In). And in the first chapter she states that she wrote the book because "no one else has", so I suppose that's why I expected something a little different. Other than that, I felt like most of the stories in this book just echoed Sandberg's, although there is certainly merit in that these stories were told in first person.

But really, my biggest problem with this book (And with Lean In as well - apologizes for continuing to compare the two) is that the advice given really only applies to those who want to work in Silicon Valley startups. And maybe that's where all the truly ambitious techs go, but I'd like to think that there's a number of mildly ambitious techs around the country (or globe) who work for banks, or hospitals, or non-profits that would love to have some career advice as well.

For example, the advice to never wear a suit to an interview, and to wear business casual at most. I read advice like this (Thanks again, Sandberg) at the beginning of my career in tech, and following it would have been disastrous. Why? Because I don't live in California or Seattle, I live in Kansas. Most tech companies here are on the business-casual side, but many require even business formal. Even if you hand wave that by telling me I live in a conservative minority, what about all of the sales engineers and consultants required to wear a suit and tie daily? And this goes for resume advice as well. I consulted with acquaintances in HR who told me they preferred a more traditionally written (and short!) resume. I have followed that and never had trouble getting attention from recruiters. (Although colleagues of mine have had success using the 100 page bullet list too, so YMMV.)

I also find the push to start your own business to be a bit tone deaf. Forbes says that what, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail in the first 18 months? Starting your own business is just not something that everyone is cut out for, or even may have the resources for, no matter how ambitious they are.

That's not to say that the stories presented in this book do not have merit. But there weren't really any that left a great impression on me, either. I was also disappointed that I could not really relate to any of them but, then again, that may just go to demonstrate how varied women in tech are.
Profile Image for Laura.
20 reviews
September 26, 2019
I appreciated the stories, but I thought the scope of audience as a result of the chosen stories, was quite narrow. I also took pretty hard offense to the chapter where the author takes a very black and white approach to discussing parental leave and being a parent while working in tech. She recited a lot of observations, which are all founded in admittedly unfair common practices, however, instead of using her platform (this book) and agency to speak up about how the “mommy tax” is bullshit and how, if organizations were open-minded to flexible working situations that supported families, we would have fewer women opting out.....but instead, she chose to go on a diatribe about how she wouldn’t reward someone for not showing up and losing experience, but in the same breath said her employees should take all the time they need. I alllllllllmost quit reading after this chapter. It was so tone deaf for her audience and screams out her inability to see the very hypocrisy in the words she is speaking as she is speaking them. I wish instead of pointing out how you need to rest up so you can go balls to the walls when you get back, or maybe just quit and do contract work if you can’t work 100 hour weeks (you know, either/or but nothing in between 🙄), she would have used her self-proclaimed creativity and ingenuity to suggest some practical and meaningful solutions.
Profile Image for Kamilah.
Author 1 book25 followers
March 19, 2016
Disclaimer: As a co-author, I tried not to be biased while reading this - but you know what, I'm really quite proud to have been part of this project. It's amazing that in 2016, this is the first time a book has tried to accomplish this - give practical advice to encourage women to not only enter tech, but succeed in it, while giving examples of a diverse set of women who have done just this. If you're a student, a woman just entering tech or mid career, or a man in tech, this book is for you. Prepare to laugh, be surprised, be inspired.
Profile Image for Anbu Manoharan.
165 reviews19 followers
February 8, 2020
The good part: The stories from other women show that there is not one way to be/become a women in tech. Also the advice extends from resumé tips to how to start your own LLC, although not all of them sound right/valid.

The disappointments:
1. There were a lot of places where the author calls out unfair things that are happening and still encourages women to keep up those practices. This threw me off completely. An example that was repeated twice in the book, "salary increases with height". This reinforces stereotypes and she not only calls them out, but advices women to wear something that would increase their height (but tries to sound feminist by advising not to wear heels that will hurt).

2. Tarah advises people to have résumés as long as they choose to have. This is unheard of, updating LinkedIn is different, but she herself claims to have a 7 page resume.

3. Verbatim: "Here are some helpful facts as you learn and teach: half of all American women will not have children, and anecdotally at least, that population is overrepresented in tech." She throws these so-called facts, with no mention of the source. There are many generalizations, stereotypes and assertions all along the way.

4. There are personal experiences extrapolated through out the book without real evidence in numbers.
Profile Image for Wendi Lau.
434 reviews23 followers
August 21, 2018
Tarah Wheeler wrote and self-published this book to share her knowledge and experience as a successful woman in the tech world. The result is a treasure of wisdom and information nuggets: what to put on a tech resume, how to dress for an interview, exactly what to say when asked about salary in an interview. It is specific to tech while also empowering and helpful to any woman professional. College women should read this so they can practice and think about how they present themselves.

There are many first-person narratives sprinkled between chapters to add authenticity and variety. They were interesting but some ran on and weren't really necessary because Wheeler's own style and voice are so compelling. As a whole, the book is a gem, not to be missed. Her advice to make sure to take care of yourself and have other interests (hers are poker and cosplay) is an important balanced life reminder.

I have no favorite part; it's all so valuable. Very distinctive chapters: Tech Interviews and Going From Engineer to Executive. My favorite lines:
"Don't wear suits...You cannot code comfortably in a suit, which means that your interviewer will think you are putting on a front" (page 40). "You have to be confident enough to say 'I'm a badass developer, and I don't know anyone else in this town who can do this particular task as well as I can'...has sometimes ended interviews when I've done it. It's also what's gotten me my best and highest paying jobs" (page 38).

A lot of the suggestions may also apply to women in science and engineering. Overall, this is a book to STUDY and memorize.
12 reviews
April 8, 2017
I absolutely loved this book! This book really resonated with me in ways that many other books that I have attempted to read in this category have not. This is straight-up helpful advice with no fluffy nonsense. The author really tells it like it is. The best part is all the profound and personal stories of various accomplished and bold women throughout the book to complement the rest of the material. I can't wait to share this with others!
Profile Image for Jina.
66 reviews
January 26, 2018
I love this book. Wish I had it back in the late '90s when I got my first job in tech. But it has advice for every stage of a woman's career in tech, whether you're just getting in, moving into management, or founding your own company.

I feel a certain kinship with Wheeler, since we were both awkward nerds homeschooled until age 13, and both from the land of academia (her masters is in poli sci and mine is in ecology). She had a rougher time of it as a kid though, and is also more of a rulebreaker by nature. I've always been more of a "go along to get along" type, not that it's gotten me far.

This book is the reason that I'm more visible online now. The entire section titled "Be Findable" helped me because my first instinct is to hide, especially after seeing what happened to women during GamerGate. But when Wheeler says as woman in tech, one who's been stalked and hacked, that keeping a low profile doesn't help you, it makes sense. As she says, all our info is publicly available anyway; it's scary, but those creeps can find you either way. So when I keep quiet on Twitter and LinkedIn, the only people I'm really hiding from are those who can help my career. Now I'm posting frequent updates on Twitter and sharing my coding projects publicly.

I love the bit about how to read job descriptions and the examples of a good one vs. a bad one.
"Other nonsense words or phases like 'self-starter' and 'leader in the absence of leadership' are commonly found in job descriptions and can be interpreted as 'our environment is chaotic, and you must have a sixth sense for which of the many tasks you will be assigned will actually matter, and which you will be criticized for completing when other higher-priority tasks needed doing.'"

Most of the book is aimed at women whose primary job is to write code, but she does mention the 'paratechnical' jobs in the chapter on moms:
"You do have the option to detour into gigs, writing, speaking, teaching, and paratechnical jobs like digital marketing or project management. It's part of the reason you often find women in technical marketing jobs and middle management in tech; those positions tend to be more interchangeable, flexible, and able to accommodate caregiving. ... Be careful, though, and make that decision thoughtfully; it's very easy to move from a technical to a nontechnical position, but it's very difficult to go the other direction."

I love how clear and specific she is about how to present yourself, from your LinkedIn profile to what exactly to wear to interviews and how to deal with the dreaded whiteboard coding problem. It's the kind of advice you normally get only if you're lucky enough to know the right person and ask them in just the right way.

"Get a professional headshot done. Not the glamour shots, and not the duck-face selfie that was supercute last weekend. Look at the headshots of professionals doing your job with five years of seniority, and follow what you think is the best example. There's a stereotypical headshot of CEOs in tech: it's a down angle of folded arms in rolled-up sleeves and a confident smile. I have that one because it communicates rapidly who and what I am."

And this stuff about FTEs vs. contractors I already knew, but it took me years of working in tech to suss them out. So for anyone who doesn't know, here's the scoop: "The real difference: FTE employees are paid less, have some job security, are part of the company culture, and work longer hours. Contractors have zero job security, are paid approximately 40 to 100 percent more than FTEs, are often excluded from company culture and goodies, and can never be legally forced to work unpaid overtime."

I love her bit about salary negotiation, although I wish there were a bit more about how that works with a contract position. This bit sounds like fun: "Anytime someone tries to convince you that you should take an 'average' salary, turn the tables on them by forcing them either to say out loud that you're average or to backtrack and offer you more." (Also see her Medium post, Minute Zero in the Gender Pay Gap.)

And then there's the tricky issue of body contact when you're in an industry known for its creepers:
"On hugs: learn to do the professional hug. ...practice the one-armed hug that's halfway between a handshake and a full-body embrace where you grasp the other person's hand, pull them in for a left-handed quick backslap or squeeze, and then release them. It's closely related to the 'bro-hug.' Hugging is an actual professional skill... While there are a million variations on the hug, this version that's half handshake and half embrace is the best compromise I've found between seeming unfriendly and plastering my body all over some business development professional who's three scotches deep already and likely to get handsy." (I shared this one recently with some women friends on Facebook.)

The chapter on networking was also very helpful. I loved that Wheeler spelled out exactly what to do and what your goals should be at each type of meetup. (There's a Medium post for that too.)

I agree 100% with the section titled "You're Not Guinevere" -- having felt like the only adult in the room before, yes, sometimes companies will hire you with the idea that you'll have a civilizing influence, like Snow White living with the Seven Dwarves. But you will not change the culture, they will just make you feel crappy. Run away.

The book isn't just Wheeler's story and point of view though. That alone would be worth buying it, but she also includes the personal stories of several other women in tech: Brianna Wu (founder, Giant Spacekat), Angie Chang (founder, Women 2.0), Keren Elazari (TED speaker and cybersecurity expert), Katie Cunningham (Python educator and developer), Miah Johnson (senior systems administrator), Kristin Toth Smith (tech executive and inventor), and Kamilah Taylor (mobile and social developer).

Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Madeline Stevens.
7 reviews1 follower
August 16, 2017
- Resume tip: "Show your skill, the problem you solved, and how it benefited the project."- pg. 25
- Salary negotiations: When they try to manipulate you into taking the average salary, here's how to respond. "I'm here and interested in this job because I think your company is extraordinary, not average. I don't think you want to fill this company with average developers, and I don't think you'd be offering me this opportunity if you did. Glassdoor has a salary for someone of my abilities and training as [number that is at least 20 percent more than what they cited you]. Is that a little closer to what the amazing people I've met so far have started at?" - pg. 68
- PRACTICE reciting the above with a partner.
- Maternal or paternal leave: Get a plan and an agreement down in writing. - pg. 102
- "While writing this book, I've requested legal and financial advice about what to do if one my authors died due to her advocacy- and the fact that this didn't seem unreasonable to me is completely horrifying. Transwomen, women of color, queer people, and advocates for diversity risk being murdered just for being who they are."- pg. 216
Profile Image for Brian.
644 reviews247 followers
July 18, 2019
(4.0) Anyone early in their tech career might want a read

Some good advice for anyone, especially if coming from “non-traditional” tech background, whether gender, race, national, economic or (non-)academic backgrounds. Or even those with CS degrees from Stanford. Some anecdotes, lots of advice, not all applicable, but heaps of material to build empathy, confidence and optimism. And resilience to “failure”.
Profile Image for Laurel.
342 reviews15 followers
March 9, 2017
I wouldn't say that this necessarily does everything that the title claims, simply because not all of the advice works for every type of individual, or every type of employer (though the book does include the relevant disclaimers), aaand not everyone is at the point in their careers that these marvelous women found themselves when making some of these important moves. Most of them, while facing all kinds of individual challenges that hardly made it 'easy,' can also be considered very very lucky to have entered the field during a golden era, were literally handed a perfect opportunity, or followed an educational and career path that led them to exactly where they are with the relevant credentials. However, this book absolutely gets five stars from me. The stories of these women are interesting and inspiring, and it's worth a read/listen for anyone. I think it would be the most useful for men in the tech industry to read, simply to get an idea and some firsthand stories of how different it is for women in their field, even if they don't consider themselves sexist or biased. The advice in here is very practical and unemotional, which I find awesome. I'm definitely a believer that we can't win at life by denying reality. I think that if you are a woman who is already a highly qualified engineer, programmer, or related, then the advice on interviewing, your personal life, and your career path found in this book will be fantastically helpful and motivating. Stars stars stars!
Profile Image for Nikki Soulsby.
Author 1 book20 followers
June 16, 2021
Outstanding. I’m not a woman in Tech but this book is still useful, hilarious, and a great read. I loved the stories of women and how they found their way in technology. I loved Tarah’s unapologetic badassery. I loved the specific and helpful advice she gave to her readers and the thoughtful, and inclusive way she did it.
Profile Image for Deborah.
9 reviews37 followers
June 10, 2016
Well, 4.5. This book is positive, and brave. I became aware of the work of Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack when a now highly successful tech friend mentioned some free interview training videos for underserved people in tech. The videos inspired me, although i'm still not clear on what career path I am taking. Several years later, I received this book as a reward for backing the kickstarter. It is skillfully written, and the style of the book supports some quite useful content and solid advice.

It contains useful advice on things such as types of tech jobs (super useful for those of us not yet in industry who want to know about job types in industry), how to present/brand yourself (i.e. be genuine, findable, and bold), how to interview & negotiate, and family arrangements (all of these things have gendered aspects).

I'll mention a couple advices which really landed for me.

There is a distinction to be made between being an introvert, and having communication issues. I personally struggle with both of these things, and it's refreshing to be reminded of the difference. Introversion is something I work hard to accept about myself, even though extroverts have a clear advantage in most workplaces. Introversion is a personality trait in which generally being around people drains energy which then needs to be replenished. There is a growing movement of introverts in the world who are trying to promote all the positive aspects of this trait. In contrast, communication issues are something which I work hard to improve. The book offers some great suggestions, many having to do with actively seeking feedback in order to improve. Even though one may not ever be a speaker, communication is crucial for work.

Mentoring. What I really appreciated about the treatment of mentoring, is that rather than saying "you must have mentors" and how to get them, the author brilliantly put mentoring into perspective. The perspective is that you must have mentors, AND you must be a mentor. I've never quite thought of it that way. As a person who suffers from chronic low self-esteem (getting better), I have always shied away from seeking mentors, in part because I do not want to be rejected and could not understand why someone that I look up to would want to spend time on me. I am exactly the type of person who is falling through the cracks on this, who is underserved, because if you have lower self-esteem to begin with, you won't get better with mentors simply because you won't have any. The author frames it simply: a mentor is someone who knows 1 more thing than you.

One part of the book advises to have hobbies for networking. I can see the utility of hobbies, but it's perhaps not an option for everybody to build connections with hobbies. For example, it can be challenging to schedule and maintain group hobbies as a working single mother. Additionally, some intelligent people may have hobbies or activities which are unique or perhaps not opportunities to bond, such as fine arts, spirituality, or solitude in nature. I'd like to see some build-out to address perceptions, biases, and disadvantages that people have about "culture fit" and networking in tech industry. It's not the responsibility of the author to advocate for change in that area but awareness is good.

I'd recommend this book to anybody who is trying to manage a career in tech or who wants to be, and particularly to those who consider themselves underserved or faces unconscious discrimination.
Profile Image for Rama Rao.
736 reviews103 followers
April 14, 2016
Written for women aspiring to succeed in business and technology

In kitchens, living rooms, garages, labs, and basements, women have invented and discovered things. They have faced the challenges of business and technology and they have made our lives simpler and better. Their creations are inspiring and the contributions are enduring. They overcame obstacles to achieve success, but what inspired these women and just how did they turn their ideas into realities? Powerful personal stories depict the varied roads traveled and challenges met by these insightful leaders.

Part of this book is written for inspiration and the rest of it deals with strategic career advice. Over the last few years, I have come across several books in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields that are helpful for a woman to achieve fulfilling careers. In this book, there are several contributors narrating their success stories, and I found the article of Keren Elazari (a cybersecurity expert), and Katie Cunningham (Python educator and developer) interesting. Although most the articles in this book are well intended to help other women in business and technology, I found some of the essays lack focus and not well organized. It fails to keep the readers engaged.
Profile Image for Shannon (That's So Poe).
996 reviews104 followers
March 29, 2019
I loved the idea of this book - providing women in tech with insights into the field, practical knowledge about how to navigate their careers, and inspirational stories of other women in tech. I think to some degree, the book definitely delivered. Wheeler Van Vlack covers a good amount of ground in her alternating chapters of advice, from interviews to networking, but the focus is very heavily on entrepreneurship and consultancy. That focus, as well as the style and content of the advice, just didn't connect with me and my personal experiences and goals. Similarly, I think the chapters of women's stories about their own experiences in tech were a great idea and covered a lot of different backgrounds and tech jobs, but so many of these stories focused on rebels who bucked traditional standards in order to be trailblazers in their fields - excellent for some readers, although not quite what I was looking for. For someone who doesn't have a mentor in tech and is looking for some guidance, this could be an awesome book, or for someone who is looking to be more ambitious and start her own company, it could be inspiring. For me, it didn't quite hit the mark.
March 27, 2017
I found a great portion of this book illuminating, and honestly good advice for any gender. There are practical tips mixed in with inspirational stories. I wish that there was a, for lack of a better phrase, more boring story in the book, as the vast majority of stories of programmers really aren't that interesting. However, that's the most common career path. I also thought the book tried to cover the gamut of all possible careers, and it was a bit too short for that.

A small fractionof the advice is iffy in terms of helping, but likely won't hurt. I've sat in on over fifty hiring sessions for (mostly back-end) developers, and email address domain has not come up once in terms of a predictor of someone's success. There are a few others like that, but for the most part the advice is solid.

In short, a solid book and blueprint for almost anyone, the vignettes of successful women in tech were interesting, but I wish it would have been a bit more focused.
1 review
April 30, 2021
As an incoming software developer new grad, I read this book wanting to learn something to help with my incoming job and career. However I found this book mostly preachy and, tbh, the author’s view is not from a real woman, or it’s just not applicable nor attractive to me. I read most of the book and learnt nothing then I gave it up. The topic is hot I guess that’s why it can gain attentions. But I’d hope to see more books and advice from a view of women, who grow up taught to be a ‘lady’ like, want a career in tech field (not only software developer), have a family, really love her children instead of taking them as a burden, and want to do good in both career and personal life. I don’t believe women have to be fierce or man-like to be success in career. We have our own power.
Profile Image for Ne Na.
28 reviews2 followers
January 19, 2022
i guess i expected more and i think it's because i've had a crash course in being a non-tech person working in IT outside of silicon valley. this book is ok for a begginer and more suited for an american audience. there are also some instances where the reader is advised to "play the game" and change their personality more than i deemed appropriate which only perpetuates the current tech-bro atmosphere, would advise against that unless you really really REALLY need that scummy job until you find something better
Profile Image for Lauren W.
91 reviews1 follower
September 25, 2016
As a woman, working in the tech industry (in Seattle nevertheless), I was immediately drawn to read this book. However, I found it a little preachy with a little too much "go get 'em, girl" attitude. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, it just didn't jive with my personality.
August 18, 2018
The book ‘Women In Tech’ is the honest guidance for working women in Technology industry. The book is written by Tarah Wheller Van Vlack who is an American technology cyber security executive and author and this being her first book. She has very well shared some tactics for a better future in tech career.
The book shares the career experiences of various women, the struggles that they have been through and how they overcame them. It includes stories from ambitious women like Tarah Wheeler herself, Kamilah Taylor, Angie Chan etc. The lessons are penned down chapter wise where each chapter explains the various aspects of technical corporate life and what steps need to be carried out to achieve those aspects and lead ahead.
I being in a technical career myself , personally found this book helpful and will implement the tactics given. This book is not an attack to men, I believe that even men should read this book so that they understand the problems faced by their women counterparts at work and support them by keeping a non sexist environment at work. One of the chapter read ‘Communication in Job’ which I personally found useful as it teaches you how to communicate with your colleagues which is a crucial part in technology career along with the skills you are known for. How to strike an impressive conversation is what this section teaches.
Thus, if you are a man read the book and be aware of things around your workplace, if you are a woman read the book and let your female friends read it too, If you are a techie read the book and it would help you increase your pace on the career ladder.
Profile Image for Jeanne Boyarsky.
Author 30 books67 followers
March 25, 2017
I bought this book on KickStarter and it took me almost a year to actually start reading it. Once I started, I was done in a few days. It contains a mix of autobiographical stories and advice. I like the the stories come from 8 different women who have very different backgrounds. One is transgender so was able to remark on before/after experiences.

Tarah recommends Toastmasters for those who are shy. I'm in Toastmasters and definitely agree it helps you communicate better. I learned that hugs are starting to become a thing in business on the west coast. I learned what a geode is (a rock/fossil.) Some of the advice is gender specific; much is not. There's even an appendix with men as a target audience.

I like the comment that being introverted is not a problem but rather a description of what drains/recharges energy. I like the comment about multiplying by pi for the estimated time you think you need for maternity leave. I like the comment about there not being a ministry of magic telling you that you passed your NEWTS (on when to put something on your resume/twitter.) I liked the comment that its better to be reliable at 75% capacity than scattered at 100% capacity.

Good book!
Profile Image for B Sarv.
246 reviews13 followers
June 3, 2018
This book has as much value for educating men in tech as it does for women in tech. In fact I think it is not just about tech. In a lot of ways it is about how to interact with people in the work place. There are two ways this book has specific value to me even though I am not in tech nor a woman.

First, as a Math teacher at an all-female high school I am always looking for ways to make students interested in STEAM see the relevance of their studies. In particular I teach an Advanced Mathematics class which will often be a precursor to students entering engineering fields of one type or another. This book is essential reading for them because of the advice and ideas that target them. So this book is valuable to me because of how it enables me to help them.

Second, I am the Head of Department and have to manage a group that includes women teachers. This book caused me to re-examine my interactions with all the people in the department as well as the two administrators who are my superiors. So this book was valuable to me for the sections that applied to being a good manager and leader.

Get the book and enjoy.
Profile Image for Iris Shields.
10 reviews
December 29, 2017
This is a must read for every woman in tech, at least if you have even the slightest bit of interest in improving your career ;)
Tarah's style of writing is captivating and not only does she know her way around in the tech world, she is determined to help women in tech and help us get represented more equally. The book is a mixture of stories from the writer but also other women in tech, and advice on how to improve your career and even become a leader/ start your own business in tech. As a woman in tech myself I am very excited to get more involved in growing the tech world to one that is friendlier towards women and has more women involved. We are convinced this will also help tech in general.

I loved this book from beginning to end and it certainly helped me get even more excited about tech and decide what my next steps will be. (btw I am also in the process of founding a startup)

I bought the audible version. Tarah narrated the book herself and she did a great job there as well!
Profile Image for Ali.
5 reviews
June 28, 2022
I don't think this is a bad book, it just really misses the mark for me. What the overall message was for me is "women are discriminated against so in retaliation here's how to act more masculine". I don't want to act masculine. I'm a women and I love being feminine and soft. I think women offer a unique and valid point of view, and instead of trying to "keep up with the boys" we should highlight the advantages we bring to the table.

On another note, I've never been criticized for wearing dresses or heels to work. They make me feel confident and my most attractive. Wear whatever you want, whether that's a hoodie and sneakers or a dress and heels.

Lastly, as a person with very good social skills, please do not take her advice on how to be social. We social people can see it's artificial and it makes the situation awkward and uncomfortable. Just be yourself, even if that self is shy.
3 reviews
April 20, 2021
The book is advice and instruction on how women can achieve success in the tech industry by giving advice from women who are very successful. with loads of anecdotes. Many of the advice given is applicable but there is a lot of it so not all of it works. As a man who wants to understand what it is like for women in the field that I am so interested in, this book helps me understand how much more women have to give to be recognized on the same compared to a man. The one thing that I largely dislike is that a lot of the advice is sometimes basic and really something that everyone tries to do. I would recommend this book to someone who is just starting out in the field but only give it to them if they want the help.
37 reviews3 followers
June 20, 2017
I don't actually remember when I started this, but I finished it tonight. I had put it down for a while.

This is a great read and I'm totally not the target audience, but I felt the advice offered is generally applicable as well (I'm a transplant to tech marketing after pursuing a different career). Additionally as a queer male, I have felt my own versions of not fitting into company culture or traditional environments, so I'm interested in reading about ways of cutting past that. I felt the personal stories and anecdotes of the various women (particularly Brianna Wu who I knew of some of her history with Gamergate) were particularly interesting. Great, helpful read.
Profile Image for Shannon Hedges.
137 reviews
July 29, 2017
Great advice on whiteboarding and salary negotiations. I really appreciated the candor and pragmatism that was present when discussing work-life balance. I think there's a bit of disservice done when it's repeated how accessible it is to learn to program (which is true!) followed by multiple contributors sharing childhood anecdotes of their asocial, erudite ways, perpetuating a stereotype of people in tech that I fear dissuades young women from entering a great industry. Still, this was a solid effort. Tarah is a talented, engaging writer. She's signing books at DEF CON today, and as a little show of solidarity I'll add a star to this rating.
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